Descriptive Audio Instructions

A Guide to DTV Auxiliary Television Services

Compiled 9/14/2012 by Dan Ullmer; WECT/WSFX Chief Engineer

Rev. 2

Second Audio Program (SAP), Descriptive Video Service (DVS),

and Closed Captioning (CC)

If you are hearing Spanish or a second voice explaining action while watching your TV program, you likely have an Auxiliary television service turned on.  We often hear from viewers who are confused by this.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires television stations to provide these services on their main channels and we comply with these regulations.  This article will explain what these services are and provide some guidance on how to control them.

Second audio program (SAP), also known as secondary audio programming, is an auxiliary audio channel for television that can be broadcast or transmitted both over the air and by cable/satellite TV.  It is most often used to broadcast alternate Spanish language or DVS audio programs.

When this service is selected on your TV or cable/satellite receiver, it replaces the normal audio programming you hear from your television.  When you are receiving local programming from WECT and WSFX, a mono mix of the stereo audio channels is provided on the SAP channel.  WECT and WSFX do not generate Spanish or DVS programming locally, but it is passed on from the networks (NBC and FOX) when available.

For most Digital Televisions, The selection for SAP or alternate audio channels is located in the menu system.  For Toshiba Regza sets, it is under setup/audio/digital audio selectorYou will need to select AC-3 English for normal program audio and Spanish for Spanish or DVS audio.  For Sony Bravia sets, it is under Options/alternate audio. You need to select audio-1 English for normal program audio or Audio-2 Spanish for Spanish or DVS audio.  See your owner's manual for specifics regarding your digital TV settings.  Some remote controls have a SAP or audio select button on the remote and pressing it will switch you to the other audio services without going into the setup menu.  This is a source of much confusion and frustration when it gets pressed accidentally.  SAP is not available on 6.2 (Bounce) or 26.2 (This TV) channels.

Descriptive Video Service (DVS) refers to an additional audio track for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media (including television and film, dance, opera, and visual art). It consists of a narrator talking through the presentation, describing what is happening on the screen during the natural pauses in the audio, and sometimes during dialogue if deemed necessary.  DVS audio program is available on WECT and WSFX when the network provides it, in place of Spanish (either/or, but never both) and is often listed under the Spanish heading.  To turn it off, follow the procedures above under SAP.  DVS is not available on 6.2 (Bounce) or 26.2 (This TV) channels.

Closed captioning (CC), or subtitling is the process of displaying text on a television, video screen or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information to individuals who wish to access it. Closed captions typically show a transcription of the audio portion of a program as it occurs (either verbatim or in edited form), sometimes including non-speech elements.

Most programming has closed captioning service available.   For most Digital Televisions, The selection for closed captioning (CC) is located in the menu system under setup/preferences/closed caption selector. Some remote controls have a button usually labeled "CC" on the remote control which can be pressed to turn closed captions on or off.   There are several options but CC1 should be selected if you wish to view normal closed captions on your programs when available. Select OFF if you do not wish to see closed captions.

Note: definitions obtained from and Wikipedia with some modification.